December 05, 2007
Last Blog Entry
If you look at my first blog post this semester, I made it seem (mostly because I thought) I knew everything there was to do about search, except I obviously did not. The course forced me to start using different search engines depending on what I needed. I realize that Yahoo is actually useful for category searches and that I should sometimes use a blog or podcast search engine depending on what kind of stuff I am looking for. I guess I fell into the trap thinking that Google was the best search engine all around and would work the best for everything I needed. I also learned how to create RSS feeds through Dapper and Feed43, and then aggregate them to BlogLines to save me time. There was so much public data that I was missing information when I was searching. I did know how to use Wikis though but it was nice to see it taught and see different ways to use them. Its also helpful to get familiar with a different wiki program since each has their own specific formatting syntax. I wish they were the same though.
To go into more depth, Dapper, Feed43, Technorati, and Google Alerts are most likely the best tools I learned about in this class. Just searching on Technorati allowed me to find blogs that were relevant to the topic I followed, especially for stocks. Using RSS feeds also helped me keep track of news, without having to actively looking for it. Instead the news came to me. Google Alerts served the same purpose since news, blog entries, and new web sites were emailed to me. Lastly Dapper and Feed43 worked out well once I started utilizing RSS. You would think that every site would have RSS feeds now, but thats not always the case. Therefore I was able to create my own and follow the exact updates I wanted. Amazing...
I will definitely use Google Alerts, Dapper, and Bloglines after this class. With Bloglines and Google Alerts, I can save time each day and, again, look at my email instead of searching for new stuff each day. Also its nice to have it come each day in case I was busy and missed a day of updates (God forbid). RSS feeds are probably the best thing I did not use before. Again it keeps the news coming to me saving me time in my busy lifestyle.
I loved how Google and Yahoo came to class and presented. It was really nice to see what they had to say about their business models and how the industry is changing. Page monitors, however, I think should be removed from the class. Even though they are useful, they are very outdated and there are better tools used to monitor sites that I have found. Dapper and Feed43 can do the same thing but is much, much more customizable. Page monitors are dead since they are very static.
Thanks again for teaching this class. I found it very informative and useful.
November 12, 2007
I have been using all of the search tools taught to us in this class so far. I have found Google Alerts and a custom Google search box the best. The Google alerts has provided me with so many updates and new pages that I would not be able to find unless I searched for these queries every day. Instead I get emails of all of the new results which provides me with a simple way to view all of this data. Obviously this saves me lots of time.
Google custom search is a great feature. I added a script to both of my Wikis so that I can easily search for new content when I am in or out of class. I customized the searches by adding a bunch of stock or gaming websites that I want Google to focus on the most. This allows me to get results that are ranked based on my algorithm. Google search is great but it is based on the general public. By giving Google sites that I want it to focus on, I skew the results towards the type that I need and want.
RSS feeds are a very common topic in this class. As the class goes on, we have learned more and more ways to aggregate them and use them for our research. RSS feeds are great for news sites or sites that have constant content updates. I am able to view updates on all of my content sites without spending them time at each website. Instead, my bloglines has two folders, stocks and technology, and I can get all the news that I need for the week. This obviously saves me time and allows me to spend more time analyzing the data at hand. Feed43 has allowed me to make RSS easily for sites with constant news updates but that did not have RSS. My business topic does not have much news updates, however, so I set up many Google Alerts to monitor the pages and updated Google search content. This works really well since I am given emails of new spot gambling sites or sites that link to it recently, which is more of what I am looking to do for this topic.
I found, however, that these are more useful than page monitors. Page monitors are pretty useless in my opinion. They are too static and have too many false positives. By creating your own RSS feed or using one that exists, you can monitor news or items that change. Then you can look at it and view the ones that seem interesting or useful. Page monitors provide me with too much garbage with ends up deterring me from even looking at the data presented.
November 07, 2007
Google Search Results: Stock News Results
Google Search Results: Online Spot Betting
October 31, 2007
Well everyone who used the features might think "Wow this alerting stuff is cool, but it isn't anything more than I could do myself." Well thats what I thought until last night when one of my alerts hit a match. My business topic is on Online Gaming Gambling. Basically there are companies out there right now where you can send out challenges for money on video games and then find players to play against. Anyway, I was only able to find two websites before now (sharkwaters.com and gorillagamer.com). Last night, one of my Google alerts "competitive online gaming" OR "online game gambling" found a new site called compete4cash.com from a press release. Without this Google alert, it would have been almost impossible to find this article and site. Instead of setting up a search once and looking at emails once a day for matches, I would have had to search Google or other sites each day. This would be very time consuming and obviously a waste of time. So thanks Dr. Moore! This is living proof that this stuff works, saves people time, and enlightens users.
The only problem I have seen with these alerts is that sometimes I get a lot of junk results. This, however, isn't that bad of an annoyance since I can easily see the result is not a valid one.
I will now use these Google alerts outside this class for other news and items I like to track.
October 22, 2007
Why Dapper is so much better than Feed43
Both sites are amazing. Its great to be able to create your own RSS feeds off sites that are too out of date or just plain stupid to not have their own RSS. Now when comparing dapper and Feed43 obviously one is better than the other and it happens to be dapper. Dappers interface is amazing since it is visual and drag and drop. Therefore it is really easy to create RSS feeds for anything you want and good for the computer illiterate person. I was able to figure out Feed43, but since you must choose every rule for every different thing you want, I feel like you need an engineering degree in computer science to be able to use it. It is a lot more complicated and hard to use and perfect your feeds. My feeds from dapper just came about within a few clicks, but with feed43 I had to continue to modify it until I got what I wanted. Lastly, dapper is better since it has a huge base of users who already created feeds. I searched for stocks and found a feed on the SEC filing site. I then created an alert for Visa for IPO filiings since I am very interested in buying this stock when it comes out. Therefore I will not forget to check when Visa will IPO or have to waste my time doing so. Its great to make a computer think and check for me. What an amazing tool.
Today I used Feed43 some more. I got used to it but I feel like it is annoying since you have to actually look at the HTML code. If you do not know HTML, this process would be next to impossible. I still like dapper better since you can visually make the feed, but Feed43 is easy if you know how to read code and what to get a specific results for your RSS.
Insert Email Link
October 01, 2007
Technorati or Rojo?
After looking at both of these sites, I really like Technorati much, much, MUCH better. Both of the sites have a obvious category separation on the front page, making it easy to find blogs that you want. Rojo offers a little more information on each blog, but I feel like their site is very basic. I really like how Technorati uses an AJAX code which allows instant updating and interactive site. This will allow users to continue to use their service and instantly be attracted to their site over others. Lastly, I like how on Technorati you can see what is popular right now. Rojo and Technorati both allow you to search and see recent news feeds.
Recently I have been using Technorati more for my term project and notice that it is very beneficial. It has allowed me to find new blogs about all the stocks i have been searching for. Additionally it has helped me find new picks and trends to watch out for the coming week.
September 19, 2007
Searching blogs is a great way to find information, especially about stocks. Blogs are the hottest way right now for people to publicly publish their opinions and ideas. Therefore by searching blogs, I am able to find many peoples ideas about a certain stock and their reasons for liking or hating it. Many of these blog search engines allow me to quickly add the feeds to my bloglines, which is a great feature for convenience and acceptance of these new tools. I also like how the search results are similar to Google, especially Google's own blog search (never would have figured that). Lastly, while not only providing me with the actual blog post, lower in the result it provides me with the site that the post was on. This allows me to go to the general blog site, which I might find more articles that I enjoy.
I find the most interesting tools being Google Blog Search, Yahoo Pipes, and the bloglines tool bar. The Google Blog Search is great since it allows me to accomplish my goal above, which is to easily locate information and opinions. It allows me to search new and old blogs to find relevant information.
The Yahoo pipes feature has to be the best thing I have ever seen. It allows me to easily manipulate RSS feeds to my needs. Since the interface is graphical it allows even the non tech computer user the ability to use this feature. Their videos also help the novice computer user even more. I used this feature to filter out results from the Wall Street Journal feed for Google news results. I first added the URL for the feed, then added a filter for only permitting Google in the title bar. Lastly, I added the output interface and published my results. Then I easily clicked add to my bloglines and it immediately worked. Now I can add news from multiple sources and filter for the same Google news; therefore providing me news for google from different sources all in one place, saving me time. Lastly, I liked the usability of the bloglines tool bar. Sometimes when I am just searching the internet, and not looking for blogs, I find a blog I like. By having a button to quickly add the site, it saves me the time of finding the exact feed link (which is usually very hard to do).
September 16, 2007
Deep Web Search Engines
After using all of these different search engines, I was able to see how important a search engine can make; especially when trying to find deep web content like journal articles. I started by searching for [timber industry California] and compared yahoo and google results. Pretty much these two sites are identical with results and features. Google and Yahoo both provided searchers with local timber businesses in the area along with the search results. I think this was important since it allowed users to call local companies that are part of the timber industry in order to find out more first hand information. Therefore, I feel like its pointless to compare these two engines and its more of a preference on which format you prefer. Additionally, I searched on Yahoo Directory which provided me with categories that might relate to my search. This allowed me to narrow my search results to specific organizations, blogs, etc. I found this to be helpful since if I was looking for timber organizations, I was able to find them extremely fast after clicking the categories button. Generally I found all of my results from these three engines pretty good, but they did not provide me any journal articles or expert documents on this subject. The searches only resulted with articles that were posted on public websites (aka no deep web content). Obviously this was expected since these engines don't attempt to include those results. Therefore, I moved on to Scirus, Google Scholar, UM Library’s Search Tools, and CompletePlanet.
After looking through all of these results, I found a big difference in their usefulness. CompletePlanet was the worst since it did no provide me with any results. In this day and age, I feel like this is unacceptable so I crossed off CompletePlanet.
Google Scholar was also pretty bad since it provided a limited number of results and quality articles. This is most likely because of their limited databases that the engine searches. I was disappointed since I love Google products, but it explains why they still classify it as beta since it does not stand up to the google standard. I hope they improve this product in the future.
Scirus was the best free article search that I found. It found many results from different areas but I noticed mostly that the articles were related to public events about the timber industry. I did not notice many academic studies on the timber industry.
Obviously, the University Library search was the best since it is a search of paid databases. It provided me with many articles about the timber industry and studies about it. I was also confident in the authenticity of these documents because the databases were paid for.
In conclusion, I feel like it is best for web searchers to start with Google to find background data and research for the topic at hand. Then I think you should move on to Scirus and the UM Library Search since these provided the best and most diverse results, even when compared to each other. I hope more deep search engines come around in the near future, but I feel like the royalties for these databases will prohibit public release.
September 05, 2007
What do you want to get out of this class?
Even though I think I am a very experienced computer user, I always think there is more to learn. This is why I wanted to take this class. Time is a very limited resource, especially in the work environment. If I am able to find information that much faster than my competition, I will have that much more of an edge. This makes me that much more of an asset to the company that I decide to work for.
With that being said, I want this course to open my eyes to new methods of organizing and finding information. Currently when I search on the internet, I come up with search terms on my own and then modify them as I make more specific searches. Today in class, Dr. Moore showed us different search engines that show popular categories that are related to our search terms. This one feature can allow anyone to save that one extra search, which can be an hour of saved time.
I was skeptical on how much I would actually take away from this course, but after today I am convinced I will be able to learn enough information in this class to significantly improve my searching ability. Additionally, I believe my searches will include more information that I might have missed in the past.
I expect this course to change the way I search from here on out.